Customer Reviews


381 Reviews
5 star:
 (296)
4 star:
 (58)
3 star:
 (16)
2 star:
 (9)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


104 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damn Good!
Some may wonder why I, a romance novelist, am reviewing Damn Few, a book about training America's elite warriors, the Navy SEALs. That's easy to answer. It's because I am a romance novelist. I write books wherein the male lead is always a hero: a man who does the right thing for the right reasons.

I've read and reviewed quite a few military memoirs. I admire...
Published 20 months ago by Joan Reeves

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ok
didn't hold my interest like some navy seal books, but I still have respect for these guys no matter how the book is written.
Published 16 months ago by lary herring


‹ Previous | 1 239 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

104 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damn Good!, February 15, 2013
Some may wonder why I, a romance novelist, am reviewing Damn Few, a book about training America's elite warriors, the Navy SEALs. That's easy to answer. It's because I am a romance novelist. I write books wherein the male lead is always a hero: a man who does the right thing for the right reasons.

I've read and reviewed quite a few military memoirs. I admire men who put themselves in harm's way for the greater good of their fellow soldiers and their country. Rorke Denver, former head of Basic and Advanced SEAL Training is one of these men. In his book, he shares his own experience as a SEAL and later as the man who directed SEAL Training, as well as his philosophical insights into the mental and emotional makeup of a candidate who successfully completes SEAL training and wins the Trident, the gold pin that is the visible symbol of being a SEAL.

Of all the books I've read about Navy SEALs, this is the first that offers the perspective of an officer who was an active duty SEAL and who was the officer in charge of a SEAL team. Denver shows the hard decisions an officer must make to consider the risk and reward of every operation, to deploy his team effectively, and to know that every decision he makes will affect not only a SEAL in his command but also the wife, children, parents, and siblings waiting stateside for that SEAL to return.

Although not characterized by "war stories" of firefight after firefight, Denver's story has power that comes from the emotion and philosophy he infuses. To be perfectly honest, he had me from the first line of the dedication: "For my wife, my heartbeat." There is not a woman on this earth who would not be affected by such a declaration of love. The fact that it comes from a man's man, a warrior, just makes the sentiment more profound.

There are three sections in the book: Learning It, Doing It, and Passing It On. If you've seen any of the popular television documentaries that began popping up after the rescue of Maersk Alabama Captain Richard Phillips in 2009, then you probably are familiar with the Navy SEALs BUD/s Training and Hell Week.

Learning It, the first third of the book, deals with BUD/s and Hell Week in detail as well as an analysis of why some men make it, some don't, and some quit before anything really hellish even begins.

The second third of the book, Doing It, covers the Peacetime Warrior era and Denver's long-awaited and eagerly-anticipated insertion into war-torn Iraq.

Passing It On is the final third of the book. Denver discusses his movie role as a Navy SEAL in the movie "Act of Valor," produced by Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh and written by Kurt Johnstad who wrote the screenplay for the very successful "300," about King Leonidas and his 300 men who fought the Persians at Thermopylae. After reading the "behind the scenes" story of this movie, I plan to watch it again with an eye for the detail Denver mentions.

More importantly, in this part of the book, Denver presents the challenges facing the SEAL program now when they are under pressure to produce more SEALs, as if that would be the ultimate answer to the challenges facing our country. I think it's obvious to anyone, after reading this book, and others written by SEALs, that if more SEALs are wanted, they'd better start young.

The will to prevail--to never give up--is the overriding characteristic of these warriors. That is not something that can be created in an adult. It's something that is created as a child grows and is influenced by parents, by a value system that emphasizes greater good as well as a belief in one's ability to succeed, just to mention the obvious.

Damn Few is a testament to heroic men who are not saints, but who are selfless in their patriotism. Perhaps more than any other group of people, SEALs recognize, as Denver says in his book: "You can do everything right, and things can still go catastrophically wrong." How tragically true.

At the beginning of Damn Few, Denver quotes an early Scottish toast that seems ironically appropriate given the murder of SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle, killed by a former soldier he was trying to help. "Here's tae us / Wha's like us? / Damn few, / And they're a' dead."

Damn Few will inspire, educate, and instill in you a deep appreciation for these men who are the ultimate warriors and for their willingness to make hard decisions and do the right thing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Former SEAL Officer's view, April 4, 2013
This review is from: Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior (Hardcover)
I recently finished reading Damn Few by Rorke Denver. I will admit I am biased as Rorke is a friend, and I have a great deal of respect and admiration for him. I highly recommend his book to anyone interested in the SEAL Teams. The top reason being, of the SEAL author genre, it is singularly unique. It is so because of the sort of person Rorke is. He is the humble, quiet, highly accomplished professional that the vast majority of SEALs are, or at least strive to be. As far as the quiet part of professional goes, I believe Rorke to be the near polar opposite of the rest of SEAL authors. While a handful of the other writers are, like Rorke, exceptionally well regarded in an operational capacity, (Mark Owen), it's no surprise that many others decided to write books as they feed outsized egos.

It was an accident of fate and a fortuitous set of circumstances for the Teams that Rorke was selected to work on the Act of Valor project. Rorke and the cast deserve a great deal of credit for making what is going to be the seminal SEAL recruitment device for the next decade.

In Damn Few, the reader gets an exceptionally candid look at the Naval Special Warfare Community through the eyes of a well-respected operator and officer. Plus, the reader gets inside the head of a man who continued a mission in print that he started with the movie: to set a shining example to those who will come after him.

I hope that Damn Few becomes Act of Valor`s literary equivalent for recruitment. Saying that a book is the sort of quality that will inspire the right sort of men being inspired to become SEALs, is the highest praise that I can give. Read it for yourself and see.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroic portrayal of leadership, service, family, and morality, February 19, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior (Hardcover)
I chose the Enhanced Edition through IBooks in order that I would get the audio version of the author describing his experience. I also have a hard copy I will treasure.

The book for me was a continuation of a novice's outlook of the true meaning of Act of Valor other than what the word depicts. I had seen the movie and was moved by the authenticity and portrayal of every SEAL. One knew the SEALS were a close brotherhood and the special operations team you wanted in every terrorist act. I lived through the Vietnam era and the world for a period of time at least the United States appeared safe. The landscape changed on 9/11. Each one of us can remember where we were sitting, what we were doing, and how our minds and bodies reacted to the horror and what potentially may happen.

As the reader moves through the chapters of joining the SEALS, feels their bodies in the cold wash of the Pacific with the SEALS, carrying boats above their heads, running obstacle courses designed for machines, it suddenly brings to light the intelligence, the psychology, the finite details of planning every facet of becoming a seal. It defines the small number in this special breed of warriors.

The master plans designed in missions were so strategic, so detailed, that even a dropped M & M from the target was something a SEAL would never miss. Signs, not words, were just an added language that made their entrance and victory over missions accomplished.

Threaded throughout the stories of being a SEAL, training SEALS, and leading missions were beautiful quotes from past books Rorke read that influenced his life and influences it to this day. They were woven so well one found themselves in his boots in raw sewage thinking of Winston Churchill and that defined this Warrior.

The wordsmith of the English language I would match among the best books I have read. Being a SEAL, as a reader, I expected the brawn, the strength, the fight, but you see through his eyes compassion for family, for those lost, and a yearning for morals where accountability has taken a back seat.

This book is a reflection of a SEAL, a trainer, a mediator, a visionary, and a strategic planner. Humble in every role and returns home to be a husband, father, son, mentor, and leader.

I learned through this book some life lessons of my own about tenacity and capacity as well as passion to success. We all can push just a little more.

Our country is blessed with the SEALS as with all our military divisions. For them, I say thank you for your service and allowing us to walk once again safely in this nation. Bless those families who are left behind and know your loved ones fought a winning battle.

I look forward to a second book and would recommend this book highly. It was touching and one that will ingrain into your soul!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING, February 20, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior (Hardcover)
This is a fantastic 1st hand account of a truly incredible man who is an American hero. He's a role model and an inspiration. Anybody who has any interest in SEALs will appreciate and enjoy this book--and be better off for having read it. I've read many books about and written by SEALs and this one is far and away the best. A must read!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Deal: the SEAL Book you have been waiting for, February 12, 2013
I have been reading everything I can find on SEALS. Most of the books are about their experiences on the battlefield. I wanted more. I want to understand what kind of man can even get to be a SEAL. This is the book I have been waiting for, This is a personal accounting of one amazing man's journey to and through this process and back. This man then takes on the recruiting and training of other SEALs, excels at that and then through his extraordinary character, charismatic personality and talent, becomes the face of the SEALs in the film "Act of Valor" and beyond. This man has become the go-to spokesperson for the SEALs and an eloquent and personable conduit to their secret world. He rides the fine line of secrets and disclosure with finesse. An extraordinary person to begin with; from a close knit family, a stellar athlete, an intellect, a spiritual and introspective deep beautiful soul, a wry and humorous, handsome charmer, Mr. Denver, inspired by Winston Churchill, starts out with the noble desire to serve his country. He is a person who always pushes himself. He wants to see what he is made of and looks to join the best of the best . He does and then excels beyond his own expectations. In Damn Few, he takes you through it all. You are with him through all the physical and mental tests and then through the legendary horrible and aptly named Hell Week .You feel the physical and emotional pain. You can barely believe what these men endure. He then takes you into the educational portion and into the strategies and tactics that show you what these men learn and how these skills become visceral nerve and muscle body knowledge through constant drills and realistic training. You see and feel via Mr. Denver's beautifully written prose, how these men are literally forged and created from the uber humans they naturally are. The process combined with their own natural talent, gifts, superior physicality and brilliance make men who can get the toughest and seemingly impossible tasks done. These are the men of science fiction, the true superheros of our (or any) time. You learn the psychology/culture behind this astounding Brotherhood and why it is such a close knit world and you learn it through the eyes of one of their own. Mr. Denver is such a fantastically skilled writer so with his economic select words: you feel it. He is the real deal.
This is a profound look into the real heroes of our time. A behind the curtain look a the ultimate secret weapons of today's and the future's terror ridden war. Mr. Denver then takes these lessons learned and missions accomplished successfully and some not successfully and turns them into leadership lessons that can (and should ) be applied to business and really, to life. This is a book to refer to time and again. It is a page turner and a great read and you will not be disappointed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "HEROIC, EMOTIONAL, POWERFULLY MOVING!", February 19, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior (Hardcover)
Lieutenant Commander, trainer, and Navy SEAL warrior Rorke Denver and New York Times bestselling author Ellis Henican, deliver a fascinating account of how one Navy SEAL became America's hero. Rorke Denver tells an incredible personal story of his young days in the very beginning of Hell Week, to leading 200 commando missions, to earning the honorable Bronze Star, with V for valor. He highlights the true definition of what it takes to become an ideal SEAL warrior, and what it means to our country in relation to tomorrow's war on terror. Denver explains not only what is needed for the modern battlefield, but what a SEAL must endure to be recruited, and placed where needed. He perfectly understands the motivation required, but also the capability to conquer one's fear. The reader is taken to the inside scenes of training, dangerous missions, and creative operations. In addition, we learn crucial information about the war on terror, how one man spent 14 years as a SEAL officer, and horrifying missions of violence he had to face. We are then taken to the battlefield as we learn the horror of combat. Rorke Denver describes how he reached the superior level, and the discipline that comes with it. More important, he portrays on a personal level what it means to him, his fellow soldiers, and his country. His heart-wrenching experience in Araq, Afghanistan, and Latin America, tugs at the heart as we learn about the violence and danger he encountered. This inspiring military memoir of a Navy SEAL, an officer, and a hero, is thought-provoking of tomorrow's war on terror as we learn from a born warrior. Heartfelt, and powerfully moving. Highly recommended!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profile of the American Samurai Caste, March 2, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior (Hardcover)
US Navy SEALs are popular commodities these days, against the backdrop of the spectacularly successful bin Laden raid in May of 2011. As a result, there have been a flurry of books written by and about Navy SEALs, capitalizing on their newfound fame and allure.

Add to that increasingly groaning bookshelf is Rorke Denver's new book, "Damn Few." The title comes from an old Scottish drinking toast. Despite the plethora of recent books out on and about Navy SEALs, I personally found "Damn Few" extremely absorbing in covering new ground and in covering old ground in new ways. By way of background, Denver is a Navy SEAL and has also been an instructor at the infamous BUD/S training program in Coronado, California. He also happened to play the role of a real-life Navy SEAL in the 2012 movie, "Act of Valor."

Denver grew up as a thoughtful jock in Northern California and attended Syracuse University, where he was a standout lacrosse player on two national championship teams. He caught the bug to be a Navy SEAL as an undergraduate and, after some persistence, was eventually accepted to the Navy SEAL training program after completing Officer Training School to become an Ensign in the U.S. Navy.

"Damn Few" divides into three major sections: Learning it, Doing it and Teaching it. In the first phase, he goes into the familiar rigors of Basic Underwater Demolition School or "BUD/S." He explains why such harsh training is needed to forge the elite class of warriors that now number about 2500. In the "Doing it" section, he describes his operational deployments in Afghanistan and the Middle East. In the final section, he discusses some of the challenges to training modern SEALS, whose training program in a sense has become a victim of its own success.

"Damn Few" is without braggadocio or boastfulness. He is the anti-Marcincko/Rogue Warrior type. If you're interested in the Navy SEALs, you'll gobble up this book. Denver steps outside of the SEAL role and enters the policy arena when he discusses why he feels US policy in Afghanistan has been misguided. He feels that the United States should have gone in, disposed of the Taliban, and then extracted. He believes that US war policy has become mired in nation-building and ancillary functions in Afghanistan, an area renowned for the graveyard of empires.

With regard to SEAL training, he describes the euphoria after recent high-profile seal successes such as the bin Laden raid and the elimination of Somali pirates who had captured and kidnapped an American merchant marine skipper. Bureaucrats in Washington figured that, if 2500 SEALS were good, maybe 5000 SEAL would be even better. "Bring us more SEALS!" The edict came down from on high to those in Coronado and elsewhere to produce more SEALS. However, this met with resistance by the cadre of instructors and trainers, who resisted diluting any of their rigorous standards simply in order to wave more bodies through the BUD/S training program and pin on the gold "Budweiser" that marks their elite fraternity. Again, in a sense the SEALS became victims of their own success and there was a push/pull tug-of-war between higher-ups and SEALS over dilution of the program's rigor simply to fill quotas.

Denver also discusses the sacrifices made by SEAL families and his own reflection upon the first time that he took the life of another person on the battlefield. He is a modern-day warrior as are the other members of his tribe.

"Damn Few" is damn good!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Refreshing Stand-Out in the Crowded Category of Books about Naval Special Warfare., February 20, 2013
By 
Tom Demerly (Tucson, Arizona) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior (Hardcover)
Wonderfully written and almost impossible to put down, Rorke Denver and Ellis Henican's "Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior" is an incredibly conversational book filled with action and insights on Naval Special Warfare, the Global War on Terror and the genesis of a remarkable American.

Rorke Denver has traversed the entire spectrum of Naval Special Warfare during his career as a Navy SEAL. He gives you insights on the daily operations and the making of the SEAL operator. The stories are classics if you're a fan of the SEAL genre. His accounts of surviving hell week in Basic Underwater Demolition School and the "Around the World" training evolution are inspiring. His descriptions of the rescue of the Captain of the Maersk Alabama from pirates off the African coast are detailed and thrilling.

Throughout the book the messages of high standards in the SEAL platoons and dedication to service loud and clear. It's an inspiring theme that adds texture to the action.

You'll plow through this book in a couple sittings or a long flight, it's that engaging, that nicely paced. If you're a fan of the growing catalog of Navy SEAL books you already know this is a book you must have. If you've never read about these remarkable warriors and inspiring characters Denver's "Damn Few" is the best place to start.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, February 14, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had no doubt that I was going to love this book and had it on Pre order since November. Once I got it I couldn't put it down. If yu interested in Navy SEALs this is a must read book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ok, June 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
didn't hold my interest like some navy seal books, but I still have respect for these guys no matter how the book is written.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 239 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior
Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior by Ellis Henican (Hardcover - February 19, 2013)
$27.99
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.